On May 1, 2022, Boston celebrated the 200th anniversary of incorporation as a city at the Old South Meeting House. After inspiring speeches from poets, historians, and advocates those gathered marched to Old City Hall on School Street for a few remarks before concluding the evening with a flag-raising ceremony on City Hall Plaza. Mayor Wu shared her experience of preparing to write a letter for a new time capsule by reading those that had been written by previous Boston mayors, all of whom addressed their letters to “Dear Sir,” “Sir,” or “Mr. Mayor.” Wu noted how far Boston has come and how much more progress we have yet to make towards equality, stating that our presence continues to be revolutionary.
The celebration was organized by Councilor Kenzie Bok who spearheaded the creation of a new Commemoration Commission, which was formally launched at the event. With other important anniversaries in the near future, Councilor Bok formed the Commission to not only recognize these milestones but research and highlight lesser-known histories in Boston and ensure that all of Boston’s history is remembered. The Commission will include three subcommittees: Events and Trails; Timelines, Exhibits, and Curricula; and Legislation and Preservation Tools.
The Boston Preservation Alliance has a dedicated seat on the Legislation and Preservation Tools Subcommittee. Alliance Executive Director Alison Frazee will serve on the committee and advocate for policies and improved processes that prioritize preservation in Boston, including formal review of building reuse in the design review process, deconstruction and salvage policies, minimum maintenance requirements, and other tools to aid in the preservation of Boston’s historic neighborhoods and resources.
The Alliance commends Councilor Bok on her formation of this Commission and her dedication to telling and preserving the history of all Bostonians.